The head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken called his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Friday February 3, to inform him of his decision to postpone his trip to China, initially planned for Sunday and Monday, after the detection of an alleged spy balloon in the United States airspace.
“The Secretary of State noted the regrets expressed by China but indicated that it is an irresponsible act and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the United States which undermines the purpose of the trip,” according to a statement from the State Department spokesperson.
In this call, the US Secretary of State further explained to Wang Yi that because of this incident“it would not be appropriate to go to Beijing at this time”, but he insisted that the United States wanted “keep lines of communication open” with China and that he could go there again once the “conditions will permit”.
China “regrets” this intrusion
Beijing said “to regret” the violation “involuntary” of American airspace by this “civilian aircraft used for research purposes, mainly meteorological”, “from China”, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson acknowledged in a statement.
“Affected by the Westerlies [vents d’ouest] and with limited self-steering capability, the aircraft deviated away from its intended path”continued the spokesperson. “The Chinese side will continue to communicate with the US side and properly handle this unexpected force majeure situation.”according to the press release.